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1956 Award Winners

1956 Kansas Master Teachers

Florence K. Belding, Iola

Dr. Jane M. Carroll, Pittsburg State University

Clifford H. Dresher, McPherson

John E. Humphreys, Ashland

Mamie D. Mellinger, Emporia

Katie Puls, Attica

Audrey Smith, Goodland


1956 KMT Program.pdf

This program contains the names of the Master Teacher Nominees for the year listed here.

Biographies below were included in the program for the year listed here and were current as of that time.

Florence K. Belding

English Teacher

Iola Junior College

Mrs. Florence K. Belding, who has been an English teacher at Iola Junior College since 1924, will retire at the end of the current school year.

Long acknowledged as an outstanding teacher and leader in her field, Mrs. Belding has served as president of the Kansas Association of Teachers of English and of the Iola Teachers Association. She was selected as lola's "Woman of the Year" in 1955 by the Iola Business and Professional Women, and holds membership in Phi Beta Kappa and various professional organizations.

Her varied activities in Iola have included teaching an adult Shakespeare class, serving as secretary of the Christian Education Commission of the Iola Presbyterian Church; being assistant superintendent and music director of the primary-junior department of her church, writing the script and planning the program for the Iola Music Club's contribution to the Allen County Centennial celebration in 1955, and being a director of the Iola Talk-of-the-Month Club.

A native of Pleasanton, Mrs. Belding holds the B.A. degree from Oberlin College of Oberlin, Ohio arid the M.A. degree from the University of Kansas, and she has done additional work at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Jane M. Carroll

High Incident / Intellectual Disability Teacher

Horace Mann School

Kansas State Teachers College, Pittsbug

More than half of Dr. Jane M. Carroll's fifty years as an educator have been devoted to the Horace Mann School, campus laboratory school at 'Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg. She taught in the school for eight years and served as its director for 23 years.

Miss Carroll's first teaching experience was in a rural school. Then came positions at Prescott, LaCygne and Wichita before she came to Pittsburg. She taught nine years in LaCygne, her girlhood home. When she retires at the end of the current school year she will have served 35 years at K.S.T.C., the last five of them as profesor of education and advisor to foreign students.

Dr. Carroll's first college work was at Kansas State Normal School (K.S.T.C. of Emporia), and her bachelor's degree was obtained in 1920 at the college where she now teaches. She received the Master of Arts department at Columbia University in 1927 and the Doctor of Education degree at George Washington University in 1939.

Miss Canoll has been active in many organizations. She was state president of the American Association or University Women for two years, president of the Kansas State Teachers Association for one year, and state president of the Kansas Division of Delta Kappa Gamma, a society for women, in education, for three years. She has served on numerous state education committees, has been a consultant on curriculum to the State Department of Education, and has been a member of the Kansas Commission for Improvement of Elementary Education.

Clifford H. Dresher

Physical Sciences Teacher

MdPherson High School

USD 418 McPherson

Clliiord H., Dresher, a physical science teacher at McPherson High School, began his teaching career in a rural school in his native Rice County 45 years ago. For the past 26, years he has been a teacher in McPherson, and prior to that he was an elementary principal.

Mr. Dresher was a classroom teaching representative at the 1955 White House Conference on Education. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Kansas State Teachers Association, president of the teacher associations of McPherson County and the City of McPherson, chairman of the KSTA committee on classroom teachers, and a member of the advisory council for the National Education Association's classroom teacher department. He holds membership in the Kansas Academy of Science, the Lions Club and McPherson's Church of the Brethren.

Mr. Dresher obtained his B.S. degree at McPherson College in 1932.

John E. Humphreys

USD 220 Ashland

John E. Humphreys is completing his thirty-ninth year as a superintendent of schools. The last 27 of those years have been at Ashland, and prior to that he served in a similar capacity at Rock Island, Texas and at Raymond and Spearville in Kansas.

Mr. Humphreys has long been active in civic, fraternal and professional organizations. He has been president of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce twice, commander of Ashland's American Legion post twice, master of a lodge, president of the Clark County Teachers Association, president of his church organization, and a Sunday School superintendent.

The people of Ashland are grateful that Mr. Humphreys places strong emphasis on scholarship. Ashland's entries in the Class B Schools division of the annual Kansas State Scholarship Contest, which is sponsored by Emporia State's Bureau of Educational Measurements, have placed first eight times and third three times in a period of twenty years. Five times in the past six years the Ashland students have been first.

Mr,.Humphreys' first teaching experience was in rural schools of Reno and Stafford counties. After serving as Superintendent of Schools at Rock Island, Texas for two years he enrolled at Sterling College in 1915. However, he didn't obtain his bachelor's degree at that school until after he saw World War I service overseas and served two more years as Rock Island's superintendent. He was awarded the Master of Arts degree at the University of Kansas in 1936.

Mamie D. Mellinger

First Grade Teacher
USD 253 Emporia

Mrs. Mamie D. Mellinger has been a first grade teacher in Kansas and Oklahoma schools for 51 years, the last 39 years having been in Emporia. Her teaching career, which started in 1901, was briefly interrupted while her children were of preschool age, but when her husband died she turned again to teaching as the best means of supporting her two children. She will retire next month.

The letter of nomination submitted by the Emporia City Faculty Club says of Mrs. Mellinger: "Emporia has been the home of several persons who attained national and interμational recognition, but it seems likely that no other person in Emporia has touched more lives and left an imprint of kindness, patience, graciousness, devotion to duty, loyalty, love of high ideals, sense of justice, and sincerity of purpose than has Mrs. Mellinger ..."

Her son Sam is an Emporia attorney and a member of the Kansas legislature, and her daughter Anne Beth is a mother and homemaker in Denver, Colorado.

Mrs. Mellinger's first teaching job was in a Kansas rural school for a year, after which she taught in her native Neosho Rapids and Carlton in Kansas and at Tulsa, Oklahoma. While teaching and supporting her family, she continued her professional training, obtaining the Bachelor of Science in Education degree at Kansa State Teachers College of Emporia in 1923 and the Master of Science degree at the same college in 1940.

In 1953, Mrs. Mellinger was chosen as Emporia's "Woman of the Year" in recognition of her service to the community.

Katie Puls

First thru Third Grade Teacher
Attica Elementary School
USD 511 Attica

A new grade school· building at Attica has been named Puls Elementary School in honor of Miss Katie Puls, who has been an Attica teacher for the past 42 years. During that time she has taught all of the first three grades at various times and for 12 years was principal of Attica's elementary school.

Miss Puls started her teaching career in a Sumner County rural school in 1913 and then moved to Attica the following school year. Her college work has been accomplished during summer sessions for the most part. She received the Bachelor of Science degree from Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg in 1952, and she has also attended Friends University and the University of Kansas.

Currently Miss Puls is president of a three-county chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma,. honorary society for women in education. She has served as president of the Attica City Teachers Association three years and of the Harper County Teachers Association one year, and she was a member of the State Delegate Assembly of the Kansas State Teachers Association in 1948-49. In 1950 she was state chairman of a KSTA meeting.

Audrey Smith

Social Science and English Teacher
Western Kansas

A native of Coldwater, Miss Smith has been a Kansas teacher for 34 years. After attending the University of Kansas two years she taught in rural schools in Comanche and Clark Counties; since completing requirements for a bachelor's degree at the University in 1935 she has been a teacher in Western Kansas high schools. The latter experience includes, two years at Jetmore, six at Kanorado and 13 at Goodland.

While teaching at the Sherman County Community High School in Goodland, she has been active in numerous organizations. She has been secretary of the Zeta chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, honorary society for women in education; secretary, vice-president and president of Goodland's Business and Professional Women's Club, secretary of the Sherman Comity Teachers Association, and vice-president of Goodland's branch of the American Association of University Women. In 1953-54 she was president of the Kansas Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs.

At the high school level she has taught social science and English, and her extra-curricular duties have included sponsoring pep clubs, class organizations, Y-Teens and Kayettes.